Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Darkness Dawns by Diane Duvall

I had some issues with this vampire-type paranormal romance, but I've definitely read worse.

First the good.

I liked the characters.

I liked the heroine and how she's introduced.  She's strong in a regular human way, not in the sense of having special powers.

I also liked the hero.  He's dark and brooding in a humanizing "don't always know the right thing to say" kind of way rather than in the overly melodramatic kind of way.  There are also a bunch of secondary characters and the author seems to be trying to breathe some life into them.

I also liked the arc with the head good vampire and the mystery woman.  It isn't resolved by the end of the book, which bugs me a little, but I think overall the author does a good job of juggling different arcs in the book.

I'm on the fence about the setting.  It's essentially good vampires vs bad vampires, which is never to my taste, but this implementation of it isn't odious.

Now for the bad.

The first thing sounds nit picky, but, honest to god, it really bugged me.   The heroine and all good vampires are health food nuts (there's an explanation about how it minimizes their need for blood) and the writing sometimes feels like it's trying way too hard to show how everything they have is healthy and organic.  E.g.
"Ignoring the club soda, organic fruit juices, and natural salad dressings, Sarah bent and pulled open what looked like a modified meat compartment drawer."  

Also, the ending was a let down.  *Spoiler - highlight to read * The author builds up a good part of the book saying how most people can't be turned into immortals, and how all the immortals look the same, and how it's going to be this great tragedy for the main couple since they can tell she doesn't look like any of the other immortals.  And then at then end, the main guy takes one look at her and essentially goes "no one else knows this, but the look of the immortals has been changing lately, so...good news you're an immortal, too." 

I mean, I know that I want an HEA, and the author knows that I want an HEA, but I want it to feel like it's a natural outgrowth of the story, not like she's pandering to me.  Which makes me feel like a typical passive-aggressive of girlfriend ("I want you to do it, but I don't want you to do it because I ask you to.")

Oh, and the other thing that seemed hinky to me was that the hero had lived eight hundred years, but in all that time he had only found one or two women who are willing to be with him, and they all betray him?  And all the women get grossed out by the blood except other immortals and the heroine?  No friendly barkeep that's kept his secret or soldier girl who was saved by immortals as a child?  Nothing?  I find that unlikely.

Anyway, it feels good to get that off my chest, but overall the book has some good things going for it, so I think people who like vampire romances and like idealism will probably enjoy it as long they can deal with the nits.

No comments:

Post a Comment